Kentucky Edges Cold-Shooting Vanderbilt 58-56

Eric AdamsContributor IFebruary 20, 2010

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 20: Patrick Patterson #54 of the Kentucky Wildcats dives for a loose ball against Steve Tchiengang #33 of the Vanderbilt Commodores at Memorial Gymnasium on February 20, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. Kentucky defeated Vanderbilt 58-56. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Vanderbilt decided to shoot three's like a middle school girls team. That decided the ballgame. If they hit anything, they win going away. How bad did it get? The Commodores shot a collective 2-for-20 from behind the arc. Let's take a look at the breakdown by shooter:

Jermaine Beal - 0-5
Brad Tinsley - 0-4
John Jenkins - 1-6
Steve Tchiengang - 1-2
Lance Goulbourne - 0-2
Andre Walker - 0-1 (desperation attempt at end of shot clock)
If I showed you that list not knowing the result, you would have guessed they had lost by at least 20.
So did the team stink up the place?
Not exactly.
The impressive thing about their performance was holding Kentucky to 58 points, and their workman-like effort on the glass. They out-rebounded the Wildcats 37-29, and limited them to only eight offensive boards. Too bad it didn't happen in a winning effort.
I'm a little frustrated at the moment. Here are some other quick thoughts to digest:
Watch the replay of the final play. A.J. Ogilvy had the opportunity for a touch pass to Jenkins for the game-winning three. I know the whole thing took place in two seconds, but wasn't that how the play was designed in the first place? Kinda like the Valparaiso Bryce Drew shot.
Speaking of Jenkins, Kentucky knows how to guard him. They are all over him. I think three of his misses from outside were blocks, including his late attempt for the lead. Also, he only played five minutes in the second half. On a night Vandy couldn't throw it in the ocean, you'd think he'd be in more.
I think my game ball would go to Steve Tchiengang. He had a ton of energy and contributed very nicely. Seven points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes. Really solid effort.
I officially have a love/hate relationship with Lance Goulbourne. Trailing by two with 22 seconds left. If I listed the 'Dores I wanted to take that shot, Lance would be at about seventh. He was open and a good look. I don't blame him, I blame Coach Kevin Stallings. He was playing offense/defense with him and Jenkins. Why not call a timeout and get the lineup you want in the game?
Another great effort by Jeffery Taylor. 17 points and 9-for-12 from the free throw line.
I thought Vandy would go zone most of the way. That manned up incredibly well.
Final Thought:
Do you remember what Coach Stallings said after the Western Kentucky loss? He said that teams didn't respect their team defense. From that point until now, it's amazing the improvement that has been made on that end of the floor. How crazy is it that outside shooting let the team down tonight?
When we get a four or five-seed in the NCAA Tournament, you're allowed to remember tonight and think "What If?"
I know that's what I'll be doing.
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